Turkey spreads on two continents: the Anatolian region of West Asia and a small section in Southern Europe. It is surrounded by three seas: Black Sea to the North, Aegean Sea to the West and Mediterranean Sea to the Southwest, offering a lot of beach and places to enjoy a vacation. It is well known as a low-cost vacation destination among Europeans who want to escape the colder regions. However, there’s much more to Turkey than just the beaches. The culture is very interesting, the cuisine is delicious and the history is very old. There are plenty of historical sites to check out and many buildings to visit.

US and UK nationals need a visa to enter the country, while some of the European nationals can enter visa-free for up to 90 days.

The main international gateway into the country is Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport (IST). It is located on the European side of the city, 24 km (15 miles) from the city center. In 2010 it was Europe’s eighth busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic. It is hub for Turkish Airlines , Atlasjet, North Cyprus Airlines and Onur Air. It receives direct flights from Europe, North America, Middle East, Africa and Asia. It also handles domestic traffic.

Antalya Airport (AYT) is Turkey’s main airport serving the holiday destinations located on the Mediterranean coast. It is a large, modern airport, offering two international terminals and one domestic terminal. It receives plenty of seasonal flights, mostly from Europe.

Ankara’s Esenboğa Airport (ESB) , located near the capital, handles a limited number of international flights, mostly from Europe and the Middle East.

Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW) is the airport which handles most of the low-cost air traffic coming into Turkey. It is located 50 km east of Istanbul, on the Asian side of the city. Most of the flights coming here are from Europe.

Airlines that fly to Turkey

Turkey is a very well known vacation destination and many airlines offer flights into its major airports. Here is a list of the most important airlines flying into the country:

  • Aegean Airlines – Europe (Greece)
  • Aeroflot – Europe (Russia)
  • Air Berlin – Europe (Germany – seasonal)
  • Air France – Europe (France)
  • Air Transat – North America (Canada)
  • Alitalia – Europe (Italy)
  • Atlasjet – Africa (Egypt), Europe (Turkey, Greece)
  • Arkefly – Europe (Netherlands)
  • Blue Air – Europe (Romania, Italy)
  • British Airways – Europe (UK)
  • Carpatair – Europe (Romania)
  • Condor – Europe (Germany)
  • Delta Air Lines – North America (USA)
  • easyJet – Europe (UK)
  • EgyptAir – Africa (Egypt)
  • Emirates – Middle East (Dubai)
  • Germanwings – Europe (Germany)
  • Iberia – Europe (Spain)
  • KLM – Europe (Amsterdam)
  • Lufthansa – Europe (Germany)
  • Malaysia Airlines – Asia (Malaysia)
  • Malev – Europe (Hungary)
  • Onur Air – Europe (Turkey, Cyprus, Spain, France), Middle East (Dubai)
    Pegasus Airlines – Europe (Turkey, Netherlands, Romania, Germany, UK, Italy, France, Austria)
  • Royal Air Maroc – Africa (Morocco)
  • Singapore Airlines – Asia (Singapore)
  • Spanair – Europe (Spain)
  • Sun Express – Europe (Turkey, Germany, Austria)
  • TAROM – Europe (Romania)
  • Thomas Cook Airlines – Europe (UK)
  • Transavia – Europe (Netherlands)
  • TUIfly – Europe (Germany – seasonal)
  • Turkish Airlines – Europe (Turkey, Greece, Germany, Romania, UK, Portugal, Italy, France), Asia (China, India, Vietnam, Japan), Africa (South Africa, Kenya), North America (USA), Middle East (Dubai)
  • WizzAir – Europe (Hungary)